Julian Castro: "I'm Not Going To Be A Single-Issue Candidate, If I Run"


Julian Castro, former San Antonio Mayor and HUD secretary under President Obama, talks about his plans to run for president in 2020 with ABC's 'This Week with George Stephanopoulos.'

STEPHANOPOULOS: That was Julian Castro a few years back. This Week, the former San Antonio mayor and cabinet secretary is heading to Iowa and Nevada, planning a big announcement on his presidential plans next week. He joins us now live from San Antonio.

Mr. Secretary, thank you for joining us this morning. Listen, everybody has a right to change their minds, to find their passion. What’s changed for you?

CASTRO: Well, a lot of things have changed, George. You know, this country has changed a lot in terms of its leadership since 2015 or ’16 or whenever that interview was. I think there are a whole bunch of people that feel a tremendous difference in terms of the leadership that we had under Barack Obama versus the lack of leadership and the total disaster that we have under Donald Trump. And for me, I believe that I have a strong vision for the country's future. I also, for starters, have run a federal agency and have been mayor of one of the biggest, most diverse cities in the country, and so I feel like I have something to offer, and...

STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, it's going to be a crowded field on the Democratic side, so it's going to be kind of hard to stand out. You have already seen Elizabeth Warren. She has big plans to break up monopolies, reform capitalism. Jay Inslee, governor of Washington, he wants to focus almost entirely on climate change.

How will you distinguish yourself if you indeed do get in? And what do you have that the others don't?

CASTRO: Yeah. Well, number one I have experience actually running one of these federal agencies being in charge of folks and making things work, also being mayor of a city that is one of the most diverse cities, as I said, in the United States, and then really in a fundamental way, represents the diverse future of America.

But I'm not going to be a single issue candidate if I run. I believe that what we need for America to prosper in the 21st Century is a strong vision for the country's future. And so my vision for the country's future is that we aim in the 21st Century to be the smartest, the healthiest, the most fair and the most prosperous country, that we need to invest in brain power because brain bourpower truly is new currency of success, and so things like universal pre-K, and universal higher engagement so that folks can get gainful employment in a 21st Century where our economy is changing.

I believe that we need to be the healthiest, that we need to support things like Medicare for all and make universal health care happen in the richest nation on earth.

I think that think that we need to be the most fair country. It is a shame today that we have not seen a minimum wage increase in almost a decade. It's also a shame that if you are a young, black man walking on the streets of many cities, that you are treated so differently than if the color of your skin is white. And I think that we need to be the most prosperous nation for everybody.

It is clear, and, you know, I like this about Senator Warren, I think that she is talking about a lot of good issues. It's different than it used to be, right? You used to be able to work 40 hours, even on minimum wage, and be able to provide for your family. Today that's not true. And we need to get back to a place in this 21st Century where that is true. The economy works for everybody.

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